12.9.3-QUALITY CONTROL ISSUES-THE COFFEE LIQUORER (THE CUPPER)
The coffee liquorer (the cupper)
Most people can acquire the liquoring technique, but it takes years of on-the-job training in the liquoring rooms of exporters, importers and roasters. Exporters must understand the preoccupations of the roasters, and a top liquorer will have experience of both sides of the 'divide'. Trading quality coffee is impossible without liquoring expertise. It is surprising that not all producing countries offer formal training courses and official recognition to coffee professionals.
The liquorer's first objective is to determine if a coffee is acceptable in terms of type and standard. The less sophisticated the standard the easier it is to approve a coffee. But when it comes to better coffees then it is not only
that count. The liquorer must be able to assess not only a coffee's marketability and potential usage, but also its price range.
Who can use this? Who wants this? Know your markets and know your buyers. Travel and cup test with them.
What will they pay for this? Know the quality your competitors supply. Know what other origins offer. Again, travel, attend tradeshows, visit roasters. It is only by cupping your coffee against that of others that you can assess which has the advantage.
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